Posted on September 30th, 2009 No comments
Sixteenth-century Spanish soldiers described it as a land filled with gold and silver, a land of untold wealth. To the Europeans who heard these stories it was a place of tantalizing mystery that mirrored dreams and desires unsatisfied by the Old World. Nineteenth-century travellers wrote of soaring Andean peaks plunging into luxuriant Amazonian canyons of orchids, pythons, and jaguars. The richest treasures, the bloodiest conquests, the most advanced civilizations-all have been attributed to Peru.
Peru is a large, mountainous country on the Pacific coast of South America. It has borders with Ecuador and Colombia to the north. Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west. There are three natural time zones, running roughly north to south: Costa, Sierra and Selva (Amazonian Jungle).
The Costa region, which contains Lima is a narrow coastal plain consisting of large tracts of desert broken by fertile valleys. The cotton, sugar and rice plantations and most of the so far exploited oil fields lie in this area. The Sierra contains the Andes, with peaks over 6000 m (20,000 ft), most of the country’s mineral resources (silver, zinc, copper and gold) and the greater part of its livestock. The Selva, an area of fertile, subtropical uplands, lies between the Andes and the jungles of eastern Peru. Many countries have mountain ranges with beautiful scenery and Peru is certainly richly blessed in this respect. However, the scenery is only one of the elements responsible for the magic of the Inca Trail. Can there be any walk anywhere in the world with such a combination of natural beauty, history, and sheer mystery with such an awe-inspiring destination? The various ruins along the way serve to heighten the hiker’s sense of anticipation as he or she approaches what would surely find a place in any new list of archaeological wonders of the world– Machu Picchu.
The population is largely Indian and Mestizos with a noticable influence from European (mainly Spanish), Chinese, and African settlers.
It was truly an adventure tour and not simply a vacation. It’s what I’d hoped for and Adventures Abroad really came through.
Inca temples: Machu Picchu was simply breathtaking; Ollantaytambo was wonderful to see!
Train rides: To Machu Picchu and Puno were absolutely fascinating. I didn’t expect the great fashion shows onboard!
Lake Titicaca: The Floating Islands, and especially Isla del Sol, were fun experiences. The hiking and views at Isla were outstanding.
La Paz: An absolutely gorgeous city. I loved its beauty.
-Gary Wong PE2: Peru & Bolivia (Incan Secrets and ‘The Tibet of the Americas’)
It’s not often that you get to experience a trip like this. Going back into the Andes– NO TOURISTS; JUST US! It was amazing hiking and only running into indigenous people and experiencing the culture. It was majestic and humbling…I wanted an adventure and got it….Machu Picchu was all that I expected–glad they got us there early before all the tourists arrived!
-Debra L. Ewens Tour XIT
For me, the highlights were Sipan [a Moche archaeological site in northern Peru] and Machu Picchu, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything else. City tours of Lima and Arequipa, museum visits, ancient sites–it was all fascinating. Loved the Puno-Cuzco train trip and flying over the Nazca Lines!
-Linda Clark Tour PR2 Peru: North & South (Peruvian Explorer – featuring the mystifying Nazca Lines)